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Wednesday, 24 April 2024 03:12

Talking Business Events with Club Med

At the Club Med Event held in Auckland are Angela Manase, Winnie Fong and Michelle Davies. At the Club Med Event held in Auckland are Angela Manase, Winnie Fong and Michelle Davies.

Meeting Newz took some time to talk Business Events Club Med style with Michelle Davies, General Manager for Club Med Pacific on her recent visit to NZ.

In the ever-evolving landscape of corporate events, businesses are constantly seeking novel ways to engage and motivate their teams. With restrictions on international travel gradually easing, the MICE sector is witnessing a resurgence in demand for overseas experiences that leave a lasting impression.

“With companies being limited to domestic events due to travel restrictions, we’re now seeing more than ever before a desire for overseas incentives and events that are really going to impress and provide an unforgettable experience. As businesses across an array of sectors accelerate, it's all about offering ‘the wow factor’,” says Davies.

Destinations

According to Davies, Bali and Thailand are amongst the most popular destinations for ANZ business events.

“Bali remains a high priority for companies thanks to the direct services available with Air New Zealand. Phuket is also easily accessible, and we’ve just debuted a series of renovations at the resort, creating a more premium setting for guests,” she says.

“Destinations such as Cancun are also a popular choice with airline services directly to Los Angeles followed by a quick connection to Cancun.”

Other trends amongst ANZ business events are luxury, all-inclusive and sustainable events.  

Davies says as airlift continues to bounce back, airlines are increasing their services from metro cities to key destinations such as Bali.

“Singapore also offers a range of connecting flights, making resorts in destinations such as Bintan and the Maldives a lot more desirable,” she adds.

Exclusivity

Lisa Bacon, head of sales trade and MICE for ANZ, says that while some agents in Aotearoa New Zealand may think of Club Med as a three- star product, interest in its luxury offering is skyrocketing.

“We are having huge success with our Exclusive Collection and out biggest growth has been in our range of villas and chalets,” says Bacon.

“Also, we have exclusive collection spaces that are ideal for incentives and others looking for complete privacy and an elevated experience,” she says.

For Club Med, enquiries for its Rent a Village concept skyrocketed by 50% since 2019. The Rent a Village concept means exclusive resort buy out, enabling clients to occupy a resort's entire infrastructure and customise it to their liking.

“Groups not only get exclusive access to the whole resort, but they also have the ability to brand the entire resort – which is a huge drawcard,” says Davies.

“They can also determine their activity and entertainment programme to match their needs and will have the Club Med resort team on hand to support with entertainment, animation, team building events and presentation set up, elevating the experience to the next level. And if clients opt for a resort on an i

island, it’s like having your own private island.”

An Aotearoa New Zealand-based corporate healthcare organisation has bought out Club Med in Indonesia and Phuket for its reward programme, three years running. The exclusive buyout enabled complete personalisation of the branding and programmes.

Furthering Bacon’s earlier point, Davies says enquiries for resorts in the Exclusive Collection portfolio have doubled since 2019, demonstrating clients’ interest in a more luxurious event.

“Our Exclusive Collection resorts offer the finer touches of a Club Med getaway – such as more spacious accommodation, a dedicated butler service and French champagne served by the glass daily,” she says.

The Club Med portfolio includes Exclusive Collection resorts and Exclusive Collection spaces embedded within its four-star resorts.

“This offers guests an elevated Club Med experience while still being able to enjoy the spirit of the Club Med village,” Davies says.

“At destinations like the Maldives, we offer both an Exclusive Collection resort with The Finolhu Villas and an Exclusive Collection space with the Manta Space at Club Med Kani. Groups can take over the Manta Space, which will give them exclusive access to 75 overwater villas, an option that always leaves a lasting impression.”

Sustainability

Davies says companies are prioritising sustainable events more than ever before.

“At Club Med, our sustainable offering is a key factor for event planners when choosing the best option,” she says.

“Meeting planners are impressed by our company values and practices and feel as though when they bring their clients to one of our Club Med resorts, our values align seamlessly with theirs.

Club Med offers a range of sustainable activities as its Bali and Phuket resorts for groups to engage in, on top of many sustainable initiatives it has implemented in its resorts such as sourcing ingredients locally and phasing out the use of plastic.

“In Bali, groups can preserve Balinese culture through partaking in traditional Balinese activities such as weaving and crafting a traditional drink called Jamu. They can spend an afternoon at the resort with local farmers to get a better understanding of the farm-to-table process and can also support the local community through spending an enriching half day with local non-profit organisation Seeds of Hope, to get a better understanding of the lives of Bali’s disadvantaged children,” says Davies.

“In Phuket, our sustainable activity offerings slightly differ. Groups can explore the local Thai food market before taking part in a typical Thai cooking class. Groups can also visit a local Rum Distillery to learn about the distillery’s sustainable sugarcane farming practices before joining expert mixologists to learn how to mix, stir and shake delicious rum cocktails. Lastly, groups can participate in a typical food waste initiative where they’ll witness how our key partner, Scholars of Sustenance, collects and distributes excess food from the resort.

Club Med’s ‘give back’ programme ensures that 20% of the revenue secured from these activities is being donated back to the organisations involved in the activity – a commitment Davies says groups are always impressed by.

“It’s a feel-good initiative for all involved,” she says. “We are proud to be able to immerse groups in activities that support local communities and it’s something clients are impressed with time and time again.”